Bella tried many diets, went on various detoxes, joined a local gym and even enrolled in an evening meditation class. Yet, her symptoms kept getting worse. Her brain was foggy. Her weight was steadily creeping up along with her anxiety. Her period became irregular. She was now chronically constipated. Her skin was dry and her beautiful hair was falling with every morning shower.
Thyroid foundation of Canada estimated that 1 in 10 Canadians suffers from thyroid problems among which around 50%, like Bella, remain undiagnosed for years.
After 5 years of suffering in silence, Bella was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism and she was prescribed thyroid hormone. She immediately felt better, but, with time, her symptoms were creeping back… What was going on here?
Your thyroid gland sets the on and off switch for your metabolism. It plays a major role in controlling heart, digestive, brain and muscle functions as well as bone health.
What Bella, and many women I see, do not know is that their Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) level could be totally within the normal range, yet still suffer from all hypothyroid symptoms. TSH is an essential piece of the puzzle, but it is far from being the whole picture.
Other Players in the Field
- For your thyroxin hormone (T4) to be active, it needs to be converted to T3. This conversion takes place in the liver. A healthy liver is crucial for thyroid function.
- Efficient digestion, absorption and a healthy bacterial flora are essential to supply the nutrients needed for the whole process.
- Oestrogen dominance resulting from the use of birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, plastics, and synthetic oestrogens in our environment affect the availability of active thyroid hormones.
- Stressful lifestyle is another factor. Cortisol continuously pumped by your adrenal glands down regulates thyroid hormone secretion.
Is your immune system angry?
Hashimoto thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that goes largely un-diagnosed. In Hashimoto, the immune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid.
Lots of evidence pinpoint the link between gluten intolerance and autoimmunity. Gluten is the protein present mainly in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt. The best way to know if gluten or other food sensitivities are factors, is to go on a well designed elimination diet removing gluten, dairy and other suspected food allergens, then strategically re-introducing them while tracking your symptoms.
In Bella’s case, her immune system was indeed on fire.
Where do you start?
- If you suffer from any of Bella’s symptoms, start by asking your doctor for full lab tests for your thyroid function including thyroid antibodies to rule out Hashimoto.
- Check for vitamin D, B12, and iron deficiencies.
- Try supporting your thyroid function with nutritional supplements: vitamin A, D, Selenium, zinc and iodine (Do not take iodine if you have Hashimoto).
- Support your adrenals with B vitamins, vitamin C, essential fatty acids and herbs like ginseng, ashwagandha, and ginger.
- Balance blood sugar levels by increasing fibres in your diet, eating at regular time intervals and avoiding refined sugars and carbohydrates.
- Restore gut integrity and healthy bacterial flora with green leafy vegetables, fibres and probiotics.
- Support liver functions with bitters, antioxidants and lowering toxic load.
Listen to your Body Whispers
Body Whispers® are those subtle warnings your body is sending you to tell you that something needs to change in your life. Bella’s fatigue, brain fog and random aches and pains were whispers that she brushed aside until they turned into screams. She had this subtle need to be nurtured and cared for as she was nurturing and caring for everyone around her. Her voice was trapped, as if she wanted to scream for attention but couldn’t. It was this feeling of un-ease and hunger for more out of life.
Along with supporting her body, Bella started to listen to her heart and soul. She pursued her passion for photography; she set some ‘Me’ time in her schedule and learned to ask for help around the house whenever she needed. Luckily, her husband was very supportive. Together, they managed to set their life back on track as Bella steadily but surely restored her health and vitality.
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